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Old 07-03-2010, 04:25 PM   #1
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Have a battery problem. First I want to tell you I have new battery's house and engine, the engine is the one giving me a problem, after it sets for awhile it goes dead, I have checked for dead cell all is good, Alternator is working and it will charge up I am not sure what all runs off the engine battery I have been having some trouble with the converter but I am thinking that only involves the house battery. Any help would be Appreciated. wcombs34.

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Old 07-03-2010, 05:02 PM   #2
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First, check for parasitic loads - things that run off the battery when the coach is turned off and disconnected from shore power. Just put an ammeter in line with the battery lead. If you do detect current (how much? anything more than a fraction of an amp) start pulling fuses from the engine fuse panel until you find where the current is going and fix it. Second, if you are having this problem when the coach is plugged in to shore power, make sure your converter is charging the engine battery; you should have a relay or a solid-state box that connects the converter output to the engine battery but doesn't permit current to flow in the reverse direction. By the way, I think your coach may have an Intellipower converter; if so, you may be able to plug in a little box called "charge wizard" that Intellipower makes, to improve the battery charging performance.

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Old 07-04-2010, 09:29 AM   #3
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Besides the regular automotive things, an RV is typically wired so that the LP detector and entry step work off the chassis battery. And of course a dealer or former owner mayhave wired some accessory direct to the battery as well.

You didn't mention the make and model of RV, but some are wired such that the converter will recharge the chassis battery from shore power, while others are not. Winnebago did not do this until recently, for example.
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:41 PM   #4
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Sorry about that it is a 2002 Fleetwood Bounder, I am thinking it is the converter thankful I have a new one, will install it and see if that solves the problem, right now I am getting new Carpet installed. Thanks for the help. wcombs34
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:24 PM   #5
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After it sets for a while? What's a while

An hour, day, week, month, longer

If it's a month You may need noting more than a Trick-L-Start and plug the rig in for storage.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:45 PM   #6
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It's been quite a long time since I've experienced this and some time since I've heard of it happening, but anyway a bad diode in the alternator used to be a common culprit. Anybody know if alternators with bad diodes are still draining batteries?
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:55 PM   #7
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I don' know anything about bad diodes and alternator, but I recently purchased a solar battery maintainer to address chassis battery issue and it seems to work. My rig seems to draw battery power for digital clock and step light when parked at the house.

I have also found if I keep the entry door open (use screen door of course to keep bugs out) the batteries can handle the hot days better. I was hearing concerns with exploding batteries.

I also run the gen every couple of weeks to keep it tuned, cool the rig and charge the batteries.

Batteries and tires - tricky things. All I know about tires is to check the pressure and repeat.
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:07 PM   #8
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Is it charged? What else is on?

Someone else already mentioned checking parasitic loads, so won't repeat.

Is the battery fully charged?

It takes a lot longer than you think to fully charge the battery.

Measure the voltage after then engine has been shut off for a couple hours, to be sure remove the ground cable.

A fully charged 12 volt lead acid car battery will measure 12.89 VDC, dead is around 11.9 VDC.

A reduced capacity battery (bad plates but no shorts or opens) will read the exact same as a brand new one, you stated new battery so we assume battery good.

Reconnect th battery and shut everything off and wait until dark.

Sheak up on the coach, look in the windows, compartments and everywhere anything electronic may be.

We had a fleet of towable generators that had same problem, what was found was a pilot light inside the shore line charger that stayed on draining the battery, it seems the manufacturer did not consider the engines to be stored and not plugged in, so no diode was installed between te charger and the battery.

Look for anything lit up or running, shut off your battery disconnect switches to confirm if the loads are connected directly to the battey or to the switch.

The likely culpret is clocks and other devices that have memory.

One or 2 is usually ok, but sometimes main wires are connected as well as the memory wire.

Or the stereo is wired so it can play without the key turned on.

If you have such devices and you like them the way they are find a spot to install an additional battery, add an isolator so the alternator can charge it and connect all of the loads to it instead of the chassis (starting) battery.
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:33 AM   #9
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Most Motor Homes.. When you drive the beast both house and engine batteries are "On Charge" courtesy of the alternator (or Generator if it's old enough)

However when you park it and plug into shore power.. Only a fraction of them charge the chassis battery (engine battery) Many do not.

Now, as it happens, My coach does. Thus when I have a "Dead Battery" problem when I try to start the rig.. It is usually something else entierly 3 times so far it has said "Battery dead" and upon testing the battery was full charge and full capacity

What was dead was the battery terminal connection.... So far (it it only 5 years old)

IF your coach does not charge the chassis off shore power

The product you need is called a Trick-l-Start

Google should find 'em for you.
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:52 PM   #10
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by TQ60 View Post
A fully charged 12 volt lead acid car battery will measure 12.89 VDC, dead is around 11.9 VDC.
Could you provide a source for this information?

See The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1) for a very good treatise on battery physics.
Wretched excess is just barely enough.

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Old 07-09-2010, 10:11 AM   #12
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Cool Cheat Sheet

Sorry I do not have a current source, this comes from a cheat sheet that I have had in my card file for some 30 years.

Used it all the time back in the Motorola days when the customers were claiming our radios were killing their batteries.

Many places on-line to find it a suppose, one must be sure the surface or float charge has dissipated before te measurement as the voltage will be higher than actual.

Tun on the lights for a few seconds or disconnect the cables and check after an hour or so.
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:09 PM   #13
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The 2001 Bounder is designed to charge the chassis and house batteries from the converter as well as the alternator. If it does not, (your aux start probably doesn't work either) then replace the aux start/charge solenoid and don't waste your money on a trik-l-charge. The trik-l-charge/start will do NOTHING to fix your aux start problem and only patches around the real problem.
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:27 PM   #14
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Thanks to all for the help. I did find the problem had a dead cell in the battery. it was only two years old, the first time I checked it showed good then the unit would not start and I check again and it showed bad. Did not understand that. could not figure out why the Aux start would not kick in. put in a new battery seems to be ok now. wcombs34

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